Masters of the Air Episode 4 Review

Masters of the Air Episode 4
Masters of the Air Episode 4, opens in Algeria, the place where the boys landed in Africa following their mission to bomb the Messerschmitts engine assembly plants in Rensburg. We heard the voice-over from Harry again in this episode, over the top of the intro, something that was missing from last week, but I'm glad that we had it back. There's something about having the story of what happened related to us as we see it from one of the character's perspectives in the future, which feels like it adds weight to the storytelling.

It was also here where we found out that Curtis didn't survive the crash that he was in, which was a sad thing to hear. Even though the boys were in Africa, we didn't see them there for long as they returned back to base after a couple of minutes into the episode. It was here where we saw that upon their return, there were a load of new recruits that had entered the base and were now making up part of the squad. This is due to the fact that there had been some heavy losses that were felt, and the unit needed to be strong, if not stronger than before.

We saw that there was a party taking place which occurred in September of 1943. It was said that it was a tough task to get to completing 25 missions, but Captain Dye managed to achieve that, and there was a party that was being thrown due to him reaching that milestone number, showing that it was possible to go up in the air many times and be able to survive. Once you got to 25 missions, you were able to go home for a bit, and that's something that we saw the captain do.

There was a real sense of uneasiness that was present amongst the party. There were celebrations that were occurring, but at the same time, as the celebrations were taking place with many of the new faces in the room, there were many people that weren't there due to them being killed while up in the air, showing that so many people had died before 25 missions were even reached. Out of the 35 crews that were there, there were only 12 left, so it showed the heavy losses that can be built up over time.

There was a powerful line that was spoken by Buck where he said, "When we go down, they won't remember us either," showing that he truly didn't know how to feel about the celebrations that were occurring. It seemed like the idea of him going up and not making it back was getting to him a lot. We saw this through the attitude that he was showing towards the colonel and also due to the fact that it felt like he was drinking the pain away, enabling him to bury his thoughts deep inside of him, which ultimately resulted in him going to London for a few days' leave because Buck felt like he needed it.

During this party, we were introduced to Rosenthal for the first time, along with three other men that had joined alongside him and were known to have a reputation of being great pilots. Whilst they weren't naive, there was something similar to a sense of naivety that was there within them, just like how we saw Buck and Bucky acting before they'd gone out on their first mission. They almost didn't know just how dangerous it was and the sheer amounts of casualties that would occur. 

While stopping the air with Rosenthal saying, "I feel like we're really going to do something," and Bucky responding by saying, "You'll do something, all right," it was a moment which made me think that his mindset wasn't fully prepared for what he was about to see. Bucky gave advice to him, which was, "If you stay alive for 11 missions, you beat the odds." This was a line that really stuck with me. 

Here we had a celebration for somebody who had reached 25 missions, but at the same time, there were people that could go up on their first mission and be killed, and others that would even struggle to make it to 11. So it showed the real horror that lay in the sky and that you just didn't know the day that you'd be going up in the air and meeting your death. 

There was also something which got across the difference in mindset from the new joiners compared to the likes of Buck and Harry. When they were about to go up in the air on a mission, they seemed hyperfocused and there were no distractions that were present, whereas with Nash, we saw that he wasn't necessarily as focused. He wanted to see Helen and also grab a donut, something which wasn't a bad thing by any means, but it just showed the difference between the two different mindsets. 

During this episode, we didn't really get to see the battle in the air, but instead, we saw it from the perspective of what it would have been like for the people that were at the base waiting in anticipation to see how many people came back, finding out if the aircraft were damaged, and just how many crew members returned. During the ending, we saw that 80 men were lost, and it also meant that the plane that Buck was flying ended up being shot down too, so it was unknown if he was dead or alive at this point. 

After doing some research on the real events, you'll be pleased to know that Buck didn't actually die after being shot down on the mission. During the crash landing that he had to make, he tried to make it to the Dutch border, but he was unsuccessful in doing so, and upon landing, he was taken to a station, interrogated, and then went to a prisoner of war camp. So even though he went down, he did manage to survive and make it out to the other side of the war.

Whilst this was happening, we saw that Bucky was in London having some time to clear his head, and there were some real powerful scenes that we saw occurring whilst he was in the city. There was a shot where he was sitting there in a room, and in front of him was London just being bombed to hell. The orange glow lit up the night, and it was such a powerful image. As well as that, the next day when he was walking through the city and the effects of what happened the night before were being seen, it was really haunting hearing the screams of a mother as she was shouting to see if her daughter had been killed. It sent shivers down my spine. Whilst listening to it, you felt the pain in her voice, and the chilling screams were just horrific.

At this point, Bucky also saw in the newspaper the losses that were felt from his squad, and after speaking in code on the phone, he found out that Buck didn't return, and he said that he was going to be returning and going out on the next mission, something which I imagine we'll see in the next episode. If you're familiar with the real-life story of Buck and Bucky, the mission that Bucky goes on next to avenge his friend is one that will eventually lead him into his company at the prisoner of war camp, so I imagine that's something that could potentially be depicted on screen.

Whilst this was taking place, we also had the other side of the story to follow, which was focused on Quinn as he was set to navigate through occupied territory with the intention of making it back to base in England. What I found interesting about Quinn's section was the interrogation that took place where they truly wanted to know if he was American. They put not only himself but also Bailey, who was found there, and another soldier claiming to be an American called Bob from the 306 Squad through tests, and these tests were to see if they were who they said they truly were. But after it happened, Bob was killed in the open because they believed that he was a German soldier that would try to infiltrate what was going on. It showed the dog-eat-dog nature of the world, and that even if he had been honest and they were wrong, he would have been dead in an instant. But they said they never made mistakes.

Quinn was feeling guilty about what happened to Babyface when he left him on the plane, and every time Bailey asked about him, he just looked down and pretended that he didn't know where he was, showing the shame that he carried with him for leaving Babyface to die. However, when he did eventually tell Bailey, Bailey said that he would have done the same thing. From that moment, it looked like the guilt had been lifted off of Quinn's shoulder slightly, and then he came to the realization that he didn't necessarily do the coward's thing.

When they were traveling into Paris, there was a real ominous feeling that was present. The very prospect of them being caught made me fearful for them, and I could sense the uneasiness that they were all feeling individually, so it was something that made for a hard watch, especially when Quinn decided to run down the carriage due to not wanting to be seen by the Germans. I feel the next episode is going to show this journey developing even more and get across that fear that's present whilst on the ground, showing that up in the air and on the ground, there's danger, so there's not many places where you can feel safe.

Overall Masters of the Air Episode 4, I thought this was a good episode. I don't think it was as good as episode 3, that's going to be a difficult one to top, but I like this one because it was more focused on the mindset of the characters and allowing us to take a deeper look inside of them. Having the split stories with Buck in the air, Bucky in London, and Quinn in Flanders was a good bit of progression, and it allowed us to see a bit more of what was going on and how the fear was present amongst everybody. It also showed the good in people and being willing to help. 
  • Series Title : Masters of the Air
  • Season : 1
  • Total Episodes : 9
  • Release Date : February 9, E4
  • Language : English
  • Genre : Action, Thriller
  • OTT Platform : Apple TV+
  • Origin of Country : US
  • Runtime:52 Minutes
  • Rating : 8.2 IMDb
  • Cast : Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann, Barry Keoghan

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